During their visit to Egypt, a High-Level Delegation from the African Development Bank (AfDB), led by Khaled El Sherif, the Vice President, a round table event was organized with 20 young men and women participants of the Entrepreneurship Development Initiatives supported by the Bank under the project “Green Growth: Industrial Waste Management and SME Entrepreneurship Hub” referred to as IWEX.
The objective of the round-table was to interact with young Egyptian entrepreneurs and listen to their needs and aspirations with the aim of developing programs that can support them as they drive the country’s growth and development, according to press statement by AfDB on Thursday.
The statement noted that IWEX project is supported by the African Development Bank, funded by the MENA Transition Fund and implemented by the Egypt Clean Production Centre of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and SMEs. It supports entrepreneurship development with a focus on the field of waste and recycling, which has huge potential and remains untapped. The two entrepreneurship initiatives supported were: “You think green” in cooperation with Cairo University and targeting university students, as well as “Leha Keema” initiative targeting graduates with previous work experience.
The Vice-President of AfDB Kahled El Sherif pointed out that the AfDB aims to stimulate sustainable economic growth and social inclusion in the African region by focusing on the “High5s” namely: Feed Africa, Light Up and Power Africa, Industrialize Africa, Integrate Africa, and Improve the Quality of Life of Africans.
From her part, Leila Mokadem Country Manager of the African Development Bank in Egypt, said that the Bank is supporting the IWEX project as it is a vehicle that allows the creation of green job opportunities for young people in promising new fields whilst using state of the art technology.
Mokadem noted that The IWEX project has developed the first industrial waste exchange platform in Egypt, allowing waste generators and waste recyclers to link up, thereby raising the value-addition of manufacturing in Egypt whilst reducing the negative environmental impact of waste.
According to global estimates, 25 jobs are created for every 10 000 tons of recycled waste. Egypt produces about 6.2 million tons of industrial waste annually, allowing for the creation of large-scale employment opportunities in this area.
Environmental entrepreneurs – or enviropreneurs- who attended the AfDB round table discussion are confident that this sector can generate jobs and increase income, while advancing the manufacturing environment as waste is valorised.
These initiatives and new ideas are aligned to the “AfDB’s 2016-2025 Youth Employment Strategy” which seeks to create 25 million jobs for African youth and provide 50 million young people with the skills needed to lead to tap into their potential. The Bank’s strategy focuses on employment and entrepreneurship, strengthening human capital and developing market-specific market linkages throughout Africa.